What is a DMS?
This raises the question: what exactly is a DMS and what is its purpose? In a nutshell, a DMS ensures that all documents are centrally available and that your document flow is efficient and organised.
Functionalities that are required to a greater or lesser extent include file management, version control, improving workflows, collaboration tools, document editing, managing access rights, backup and recovery, file sharing, document classification, cloud storage, e-signing, scanning documents to digitise paper documents and the ability to work simultaneously in documents.
The advantages of a DMS
A DMS is about much more than being able to store and share files. It addresses one of the most fundamental aspects of successful organisations: collaboration. What exactly are the advantages of implementing a DMS? First of all, it facilitates paperless work, which has numerous benefits in aspects such as the environment, efficiency, business agility and even employee happiness, to name a few.
In this day and age organisations are almost drowning in mountains of data. A DMS helps to make the storage and exchange of data easier and faster and to automate workflows. It also provides a secure way of sharing files, partly because you can very specifically control access rights. Last but not least, a DMS means that you have new and better ways to exchange information, allowing you to make better decisions and anticipate changes within the organisation or in the marketplace.
You maximise the value of a DMS by integrating it with other business applications. Because document management systems work with documents – which are often the foundation of business processes – DMS systems can act as an engine for many business processes, providing data and functionality to other applications. For example, your DMS allows you to create, edit and process content online, then publish the information through a marketing automation system.
What DMS systems are on the market?
Because the need for a DMS is so great, the market is vast. There are countless high-quality and reliable systems. Among the best-known are undoubtedly SharePoint and OneDrive for Business from the Microsoft suite as well as Dropbox Business.
SharePoint is Microsoft’s DMS within Microsoft 365. This content management platform is all about collaboration: it is primarily intended for storing and sharing files as a team. It offers plenty of opportunities for real-time collaboration whether or not within documents. In addition, you can create intranet pages and link flows to files, among other things. Due to its versatile nature, SharePoint is used much more widely than just as a DMS; companies also use it for project management or as an HR portal, for example.
Another widely used DMS, especially among companies that work with Microsoft technology a lot is OneDrive for Business. In contrast to SharePoint, this has more of an individual character, which is also evidenced by the fact that documents that are stored are not shared by default. Basically, OneDrive for Business is a synchronisation product for storing and sharing files such as documents. For smaller companies or organisations with limited complexity it can function perfectly as a DMS, but it is worth noting that the scope of DMS functionalities is rather small.